Aug 14, 2018
We were asked to help out a young family that are struggling to the point where they only have £20 to pay their bills and provide food for the three of them for the next few weeks. The lady was previously claiming Employment Support Allowance as she is currently recovering from bowel cancer, when she notified the DWP that she was getting married they advised her to close her ESA claim. Her husband who has extreme OCD was a carer for his brother and able to claim Carers Allowance, but his brother has now moved to live with their sister, so he has had to close his CA claim too. There is a young child and currently all the receive is Child Benefit, and now finally child tax credits (they could have claimed this for the past four years but were never advised to do so, so didn't know they were entitled.) A new claim is being submitted for them as a couple, and applications are being made to get their bills sorted out. The man because of is OCD is constantly running the washing machine because of his extreme fear of germs. We agreed to send them £100 so that they can top up their meters and get some food in.
Jul 8, 2017
Our client, a disabled lady who is a wheelchair user has been honest with the DWP and Tax Credits about her boyfriend moving in with her and her children. Their reaction was to say that he would now be financilly responsible for looking after her and her family. She was told to contact and apply for Universal Credit as she was no longer entitled to tax credits. Universal Credits said to her as she had three children, she couldn't claim Universal Credit and was told to ring Tax Credits back. They then told her she had to apply for Income Support, the result of that was that the DWP then stopped her ESA claim. They have been left only with the Child Benefit of £43.10 a week to live off for a family of five. Her partner is unable to take care of them financially as he was laid off his job six months ago. They've been told it will take 2-3 weeks to get their benefits payments sorted out and reinstated. Meanwhile they have pennies on their electricity meter. We agreed to send them £100 to keep them and their energy meters topped up for the time being.
Feb 21, 2017
We were approached regarding a young mum, a single parent, who was struggling with ill health herself and taking care of her two teenaged daughters, both of them suffering with aspergers, behavioural problems and suicide attempts. Both girls are in receipt of DLA, but one of whom was refused DLA on renewal of the award. This is currently being appealed. Losing that DLA award has had a knock on effect on her tax credits payments, with those being stopped and she has not had any money through since last November. Tax Credits have decided that there has been an overpayment as the Mum was late notifying them of the DLA stopping, so her Tax Credits payments have been halted until April 2017. We agreed to send across £100 as we found out that her rent and council tax payments were still being covered.